At the end of Chapter 4, Professor Mackenzie had just shown up on Abby’s doorstep. It turns out, he’s turning up to catch her in the act of neglecting his cookies. Alas for him, she’s in the middle of baking! Turns out his deposit was a whole $200, and he’d wanted to give her instructions and food allergies before she got started. Whoops.
More importantly, he can’t hear her dog talking. Which is a shame, because Bowser is clearly trying to set them up:
He’d opened his mouth to respond when suddenly, Bowser knocked against her, unbalancing her so that she stumbled against the professor. He put out his hands to catch her, and for a moment they were too close, close enough for her to feel his body heat — the sensation was disturbing, erotic — and it seemed as if his fingers caressed her arms as they’d caressed Bowser’s head.
Bowser is sure that the professor likes Abby, who is just as sure he doesn’t. This is where I get bored — typical love story: girl meets boy, girl assumes boy isn’t interested in her, girl goes for other boy or gets into other comically troublesome situation, boy confesses true love to girl, girl marries boy and lives happily ever after. Yawn. More importantly, does she like him? She’s certainly got physical attraction down, as evidenced above, but he’s done very little to entice her as a person.
Bowser should have gone for the leash method:
At least that was interesting 🙂
Shar’s section involves distorted perspective as well:
Temple street, the street she’d walked down every day of her life, was suddenly alive with color, its windows filled with red and orange gauze skirts; Bea’s coffeehouse, with its peeling, lavender storefront and hand-lettered Closed sign on the door; Casey’s hardware store with its placards of blue and silver paint in the window — My god, those blues — the acrid green facade of Lionel’s bar, and even the plain corner market throbbing white behind its baskets of red apples and cool green peppers that seemed to deepen in color as she went by.
Inspired by the blues, she goes into the hardware store and asks Mr Casey for blue paint: “Blue like the night sky”. Wolfie, meanwhile, is having none of this, growling and tugging at the leash. He only gets more frantic as they approach her home, barking and whining. Shar has messages on the machine, but we don’t get to hear what her ex has to say because Wolfie interrupts by telling her that “this is bad”.
She responds by drinking more tonic. Because that’s what you need when you’re “drunk” enough to hallucinate — more “alcohol”.
Wolfie thinks that no good can come of going to that class, cueing another daydream about Shar’s bas-relief hottie. He also insists that she stop drinking the tonic, proof that the dog clearly has more sense than the woman at this point 🙂
This amused me: Shar tells Wolfie as they climb into bed “You’re a sweet baby”. In response, as they settle in, he calls her “Good girl. Sweet baby.”
So that basically sums up the dogs of this novel: Faithful, laid-back Bowser for a fierece, take-charge Abby; hyperactive, playful Bailey for an organized, non-dog-loving Daisy; and protective, fierce Wolfie for a romantically-timid reclusive Shar. Not a bad cast of characters to be honest.
The chapter closes with a man standing at the foot of Shar’s bed, “huge and translucent, glowing silver as he stretched out his arms”. In response, she does what any sensible woman would do: she tasers him.